The man who helped compose “Circle of Life” from the Lion King was parking cars for a living before Hans Zimmer found him
Call it the circle of life: many kids who saw ‘The Lion King’ in theaters when it opened in 1994 can now take their own kids to see it when the 3D version hits the cineplex on Sept. 16. (The film hits both standard and 3D Blu-ray on Oct. 4.) Of course, it’s hard to believe there’s a generation that has never been exposed to ‘The Lion King’; since the landmark Disney cartoon debuted, it has spawned an industry that’s included two direct-to-video sequels, a TV series, several video games and a long-running Broadway musical.
To celebrate the 17-year history of ‘The Lion King,’ Moviefone has unearthed 17 things you might not have known about the furry film fable, including which Oscar-nominated song Elton John thought would kill his career, the supposed secret “sex” scene, what that chant at the beginning of ‘Circle of Life‘ means, and a precedent-setting blast of warthog flatulence.
Hans Zimmer, who eventually won an Oscar for composing the instrumental score, brought aboard Lebo M, a South African composer and singer he’d worked with on the film ‘The Power of One.’ (A self-imposed exile from the apartheid regime, Lebo M was parking cars in Los Angeles when Zimmer met him.) It’s Lebo M who added the African choral passages to the score, including the famous ‘Circle of Life‘ chant that opens the movie.